Tag Archives: marketing

Music Sales from Social Media Marketing, Part 1

23 Sep

Hey folks,

When talking to independent artists, one of the questions that I get most is “How can I get social media to translate to fans and sales?”

I would like to start by saying that for DIY artists, social media marketing should be used to accompany, not replace, face-to-face promotion. There is still nothing like getting out and talking to people, and giving them a live show that they will never forget. The best physical CD sales for local/regional bands is at their live shows, and that is a great opportunity to expand the mailing list. Maintaining those contacts is an art in itself, but the greater challenge is drawing new fans (and customers) completely from the web.

The internet is synonymous with informational overload. There are more websites and social media platforms than ever before, and there are also more malicious forces at work.  On one hand, there is an ever-growing amount of online commerce. The flip side to this is that people are not likely to just buy music from artists with whom they are not familiar. Illegal downloading of music has also lessened the perceived monetary value of music, as many people have grown accustomed to not paying for music at all.

To obtain online sales, you have to then have to: 1) get and keep the attention of potential fans/customers, 2) establish some form of bond or interest, and 3) trigger their impulse to buy. Social media can come into play for each step of this process (which I will explore further in a later post), but it is especially useful for step 2. For this part, it is crucial to balance promotional info with content.  Here are some tips for utilizing social media to create bonds with your audience.

1) Choose your platforms.  There are many different social media platforms now available. While I believe it is good to have a presence on several of them, it is good to focus most of your attention on a small number of them. It is always wise to check out which are most popular for your particular style, region, etc, but I recommend going with platforms with which you are comfortable. If it feels intuitive and easy to use, your posts will seem more natural and interesting.

2) Be genuine. While it can be helpful to look at posts from other successful artists for inspiration, you should be sure to develop your own style. If you post honestly and enthusiastically about your music, your passion will be evident to readers. Using your own unique voice will help to set you apart from the numerous other artists that populate social media.

3) Don’t push. I think it is good to post at least a few times a week to keep yourself in front of your online audience. If it feels natural to post numerous times daily about each aspect of your life and music, then stick with that. If that does not come naturally, then I do not recommend trying to do so. Your posts will seem forced, and seem void of real content.

4) Show interest. In addition to being interesting, you should also be interested. Take an interest in your fans and involve them whenever possible. This can include asking for their input on daily decisions, getting their opinions on your music, and posting about topics of interest to them (other than just your music). This brings me to my next point, which is…

5) Use your other skills. Everyone has skills other than music. Think about how those other skills can tie in to your social media marketing. You can use this to provide content to your existing fans, and you may also be able to draw new people to your music by engaging them elsewhere. 

Maintaining a consistent online presence is a lot of work, but it can be very rewarding. In addition to generating sales, finding yourself with a community of fans, friends, and colleagues is both a great feeling and necessary for breaking the band.

Have fun with it, and keep rocking!

Chris Farmer, Strange One Records

If you would like more info, or in a band that is interested in consultation for online marketing, contact us via strangeonerecords.com